Travelguru Homestays App offers you choices of not just hotels, but also apartments, villas and cottages, giving you a home away from home.
The concept of vacation rentals, quite popular especially in the US, seems to be catching on in India as well. And now, there is even an app that lets you book homestays. Yatra, having made its mark as a good resource for travel bookings, has taken a step further to ease travel with an app that helps you book an alternate accommodation too, Travelguru Homestays.
What makes this app stand apart is that it offers you choices of not just hotels, but also apartments, villas and cottages, giving you a home away from home. The reason vacation home rentals gained popularity in the West is that not only are they cheaper than hotel rooms, they offer you much more privacy and freedom to do as you choose. And given that we Indians love to go on holiday with the entire family, booking an entire home for the family seems to be a great way to be together without busting the budget.
So, what does this app offer? Here’s a look.
Yatra claims that this is the “largest aggregator of hotels and homestays in India.” On trying the app, we found that it does offer much more variety in terms of choosing where you want to stay, with options not just at the tourist hubs of the country but also many choices off the beaten track. This means that exploring new places and the road less travelled becomes that much easier.
Adding to the choices, this app allows you to choose how much space you want to book. So, you could book a single room, several rooms or the entire property, depending on how many people you are travelling with and the kind of experience you are looking for.
The features Travelguru Homestays offers for guests, i.e., people looking for accommodation include:
Travelguru Homestays is also a great app if you are looking to make some extra money on the side, given that it allows you to register as either a host or a guest. What this means is that you can put up your own property as a homestay option. In fact, even if you have an extra room and are ready to host travellers in it, you can sign up to be a host.
The features that help you as a host include:
Of course, you will need to establish your credentials, which means some documents will need to be uploaded as verification.
The more hosts there are, the greater will be the choices for people looking for accommodation, which makes this app a win-win for both parties.
With Airbnb having arrived in India, Travelguru has a big player to compete with. The market is huge and has space for both. As of the beginning of 2018, Google Play recorded 50,000 to 100,000 installations of the Homestay app, which is not even the tip of the iceberg that is the Indian tourism market. And, the stiff competition will keep both companies on their toes, resulting in better offerings for users.
One aspect that absolutely goes in favour of the Homestay app, is the Travelguru’s Safety Assurance feature. Under this service, all listings are Travelguru assured, which gives users greater confidence to make a booking with complete peace of mind. The assurance includes property inspection, host verification and guest insurance, guaranteeing safety.
Some users have also faced issues with load times and search results, which might occur more due to connectivity issues and more hosts being required in certain regions than a problem with the app itself. In fact, many users have commended the app for its user-friendly interface and ease of use.
Another complaint has been the time it takes for the refund to be credited to one’s bank account on cancellation of a booking. Again, what we found was that the delay was more due to the time taken by the banking system to shift funds, rather than a problem from the company’s end with the app. Usually, it does take banks 4-5 working days to move funds, with the amount being credited after about a week or so.
Travelguru.com seems to still be working out some of the kinks, such as more information on homestay options, load times, design and layout and so on. This is part of fine tuning any app, and if the company remains committed to improving the app, based on user reviews, we can expect great things in future.
On the whole, Travelguru Homestays is a commendable effort, giving travellers a wider range of accommodation choices than ever before in India. And with a rating of 4.2 out of a maximum of 5, it certainly does seem to that Indians are warming up to the concept of homestays and appreciating the opportunity to book alternative accommodation choices. We would definitely recommend this app for your next vacation.